Allee Willis (1947-2019)

In all our years doing the show, we’ve found that certain guests, when discussing their process, have an energy about them which gives us an extremely keen sense of what they must be like to work with creatively. Allee Willis certainly falls into that category.

As anyone who has worked with or interviewed her can attest, she was larger than life, a singular force of nature that swept you up in a whirl of positive energy. She was certainly a flamboyant character, but make no mistake, behind her colourful appearance was the mind of a searingly intelligent and thoughtful songwriter.

Allee graciously joined us on the show in the very early days (episode 10 to be exact), when we were still finding our feet but, of course, guests like her make our job an absolute breeze. Our chat with her has remained one of our favourite episodes down the years, so much so that, when we were approached to make a documentary based around the podcast for the BBC World Service back in 2016, we knew we had to incorporate Allee; we plumped for a clip of her revealing the unlikely inspiration behind her lyric for Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Boogie Wonderland’.

Sodajerker On Songwriting, Episode 10 with Allee Willis

She’ll be sorely missed but we and the millions of other people who’ve been touched by her songwriting will be listening to her work forever.

Rest in peace, Allee.

Allee Willis

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